Inside Cato’s Advanced Security Services

March 15, 2018

More and more IT managers are interested in converging SD-WAN with network security — and for good reason.  An agile, efficient, and ubiquitous security architecture is essential if organizations are to fully transform their networks. But as we’ve noted before, traditional SD-WAN fails to adequately address the security dimension, relying on existing security appliances and solutions. The result: continued costs and complexity that limit the value of WAN transformation.

Cato Cloud is different. It’s an SD-WAN built from the ground up with security in mind. Networking and security are fully converged, providing a more scalable, more efficient SD-WAN.

Network Security Appliances Limit Traditional SD-WAN

SD-WAN became popular by solving the challenges of adapting legacy wide area networks (WANs) to the modern enterprise. The MPLS architectures of most enterprise WANs adds far too much latency to  Internet- and cloud-destined traffic. Other problems, including extensive deployment times (as much as 90 days) and high bandwidth costs (think double or more their Internet equivalents), make MPLS incompatible with evolving enterprise requirements.

And while traditional SD-WAN succeeded to a point, it ignored the network security requirements of branch offices. Companies must still to deploy external security appliances. As such, traditional SD-WAN fails to address significant areas of complexity within the network that continue to increase costs and limit today’s networks:

  • Appliances still need to be bought, deployed, maintained, upgraded and retired. Appliance capacity has to be upgraded outside a budgetary cycle, or sit idle to avoid the hassle.
  • Appliances need the support, care, and feeding of experienced staff or outsourced support.  Either way, software updates often lag because of their high risk and complexity. The result is reduced appliance effectiveness over time.  
  • Security appliances protect their locations; additional security elements are needed to protect other offices, cloud resources, and mobile users. The resulting patchwork of security solutions not only strain IT budgets but also undermine network visibility and insight.

Deploying separate security appliances at each office is unmanageable and expensive, but the alternative — centralizing Internet access and security appliances in regional hubs — dramatically increases costs and complexity of the SD-WAN. For many organizations, building regional hubs is often infeasible being far too expensive and challenging.  And regardless, regional hubs continue to incur all of the upgrade and scaling challenges of appliances.

Cato Cloud: Converging Security and Networking into a Global SD-WAN Service

Cato Cloud is very different. From the beginning, Cato Cloud was built with security in mind. Cato Cloud is a global and secure SD-WAN as a service, converging networking and security pillars into a single platform.

Convergence enables Cato to collapse multiple security solutions such as a next-generation firewall, secure web gateway, anti-malware, and IPS into a cloud service that enforces a unified policy across all corporate locations, users and data.  

Because Cato is delivered as a cloud service, customers are relieved from the burden of patching, upgrading, and updating. Customers also don’t need to size or scale network security. All traffic passing to Cato’s licensed security services will be handled according to the customer-specific security policy while Cato is taking care of the underlying infrastructure.

As part of the service, Cato employs a dedicated research team of security experts, Cato Research Labs, which continuously monitor, analyze and tune all the security engines, risk data feeds, and databases to optimize customer protection. Enterprises of all sizes are now able to leverage the security and threat detection expertise of Cato Research Labs and a hardened cloud platform to improve their security posture.

To better understand Cato’s security architecture and the specific security services provided in Cato Cloud, read our in-depth overview here.

Dave Greenfield

Dave Greenfield

Dave Greenfield is a veteran of IT industry. He’s spent more than 20 years as an award-winning journalist and independent technology consultant. Today, he serves as a secure networking evangelist for Cato Networks.